Picture: THINKSTOCK
Picture: THINKSTOCK

The JSE firmed on Friday, capping what was mostly a positive week, with broad-based gains.

European stocks were lower on the day, as was the Dow, as trade-war fears resurfaced.

For local shares, however, concern over additional US tariffs against China, as well as stricter vetting of foreign investment into the US, was offset by US President Donald Trump’s rumblings about interest-rate increases in the US.

This weakened the dollar, helping lift many local equities.

Domestic focus for the week was on the Reserve Bank, which, on Thursday, kept interest rates on hold as expected, but cut SA’s economic growth forecast for 2018.

PPS Investments portfolio manager Luigi Marinus said the downward revision in the economic forecast for this year was a big surprise. "This is likely to be viewed as a very disappointing forecast and questions whether we’ve seen the end of the [President Cyril] Ramaphosa euphoria that was widely expressed only a few months ago."

Commodities benefited from the softer dollar environment, with the platinum price up as much as 2% on the day.

The all share added 1.27% to 56,990.2 points, while the top 40 gained 1.4%. Banks rose 2.54%, industrials 1.89%, platinums 1.9% and general retailers 1.6%. The all share has gained 1.11% for the week.

Gold Fields added 2.14% to R47.68 and Anglo American Platinum 2.71% to R355.90.

Naspers added 1.79% to R3,448.50.

Diversified miner Glencore fell 1.33% to R54.90 and BHP 1.08% to R285.34. Exxaro fell 6.09% to R124.62 and Kumba Iron Ore 4.29% to R287.55.

Rand hedge British American Tobacco gained 3.72% to R697.50 and Richemont 2.93% to R118.83.

Absa gained 3.28% to R161.99 and Standard Bank 2.61% to R199.07.

Discovery gained 4.48% to R158.26.

TFG firmed 3.18% to R166.39.

Sasol gained 0.77% to R502.84, despite reporting earlier that earnings fell by up to 62% during its 2018 financial year.

Shortly after the JSE closed, the Dow was flat at 25,069 points, while in Europe, the export-heavy DAX 30 had fallen 1.2%, the CAC 40 0.49%, and the FTSE 100 0.17%.

At the same time, platinum had gained 2.28% to $827.18 an ounce and gold 0.51% to $1,229.09. Brent crude was 0.74% higher at $73.06 a barrel.

The top 40 Alsi futures index rose 1.29% to 50,931 points, adding 1.07% for the week. The number of contracts traded was 20,289 from Thursday’s 18,881.

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